One sure way to enhance your blog is to put images on its pages. However, we can’t just take any pictures on the web and add it to our website due to copyright infringement issue. Fortunately, there are many stock exchange photos sites that we can use to get copyright free images. But if you’re not careful, using stock images can also get expensive especially if your blog generates little or no income.
Certainly there are more sites than what’s listed here, but the criteria at this time are all sites that are either free or the least expensive (for the paid ones). You can read about the rest on the links at the bottom of this post.
If anyone has any suggestions on other free and/or economical paid sites for stock photos, please let us know and we’ll include them here.
Free Stock Photos
Their free photos and illustrations are ideal for business, personal and educational use. Every image is free, with an option to buy larger images at reasonable prices.
If you’re into minimalist style photography, you’ll like what this site, created by Lauren Mancke and Brian Gardner, has to offer. All of their photos have been released under the Creative Commons Zero license, which means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. But in return, they would appreciate some nice gestures that can help them. Read more about their license to use by clicking here.
These images come with free usage right with attribution. However, you are responsible for contacting the photographer to make sure any model or property releases have been obtained.
stock.xchng / stockxchange
Stock xchange is an absolutely free photo site. Some photographers may require a link back or credit in some form, however, so be sure to read the fine print.
This site provides many vector graphic images as well as icons and hand drawn images that you can use for just about anything free of charge.
Carefully selected high resolution images can be found on this site. Its collections grow gradually by 10 new photos for every 10 days. Unsplash adopts Creative Commons Zero license which means you have the freedom to copy, modify, distribute and use the photos without permission, whether it’s for a personal blog or for commercial purposes.
Paid Stock Photos
Big Stock Photo
Reasonably priced and the site gives away “Free Image of the Week” for subscribers. You can either buy a pack of credits (which lasts for one year) or a subscription for greater savings.
Very reasonably priced for regular blog sites that don’t generate much income.
Dollar Photo Club
New site from Fotolia.com with a membership pricing model. Depending on your use, this might be a very economic alternative as each high-quality image costs only $1. The pricing model is a bit unique in a way that you are charged a membership fee for $99/year which entitled you to download 99 stock photos. This credit doesn’t expire though so the following year, as you’re billed another $99 for 99 downloads plus the remainder of your download credits.
Update: Sad news. Unfortunately, DollarPhotoClub is now closed for new members and instead referring people to join Adobe Stock which has higher cost per image.
Very cost-effective stock photos site. They not only have royalty-free photos, but also video, music tracks, sound effects and customizable After Effects projects. It’s worth checking out.